A gym injury can appear at any time, whether you’re prepared or not. So why not learning what to do when you get injured at the gym.
For many people, the gym is a safe haven — a place where you can exercise and feel the exhilarating highs of exhaustion.
For others, it’s a challenge — a place to test your limits, and hopefully better yourself in the process.
In either scenario, nobody expects to physically hurt themselves in the process of working out. Still, the gym can be a dangerous place.
This is a place where you’re supposed to test the limits of your strength and endurance. There are complex pieces of machinery and heavy weights all around.
And to top it off, you’re likely going to be working out alongside dozens of other people at the same time. And they may not have the same safety concerns you do.
So what happens if you end up injuring yourself while working out? Just follow these five steps below and you’ll be okay.
What To Do When You Get A Gym Injury?
Here are five steps to follow if a gym injury occurs during your workout session:
Step 1: Prioritize Safety
Your number one priority should be the safety of you and those around you:
- If you’re currently using a machine that has broken or if you’re in an unsafe environment, try to get yourself to a safer place as soon as possible.
- If there are other people in danger of getting hurt, make sure they get to safety as well.
- And if there’s a piece of faulty equipment responsible for the injury, make sure no one else uses it.
Depending on the nature of your injury, you’ll probably need to cut your workout routine short.
Even if it doesn’t feel like the injury is serious, consider taking it easy; the adrenaline pumping through your body from the workout may be artificially dulling the pain.
Step 2: Contact Emergency Services (If Necessary)
Consider whether it’s necessary to contact emergency services.
If you feel intense pain, if you’re unable to move easily, or if you aren’t sure what happened, it’s probably in your best interest to dial 911.
If there are any eyewitnesses or medical professionals in the vicinity, get their perspective as well. Some injuries won’t require hospitalization, but should still be tended to immediately. You may not be in the best position to judge this.
Step 3: Document The Incident
Assuming emergency services have already been contacted or forgone, your next step is to document the incident as fully as possible with gym staff.
Gym faculty members need to know how this incident occurred so they can make positive changes to prevent this incident from recurring.
You may also need to have this information documented in case you eventually file a personal injury claim (if this was due to the gym’s negligence).
Assuming you’re of sound mind to handle this step, consider taking photos or video of the incident, and narrating what just occurred, step by step.
Gym staff members may request for you to fill out an incident report, or ask you questions so they can fill it out.
Be as detailed as possible, and keep a record for yourself so you have an independent log of the details.
If there are any witnesses in the area (i.e., other people working out in your vicinity), talk to them and see what they remember.
If the incident was directly caused by someone else, like if they intentionally hurt you or messed with your equipment, you may also need to file a police report.
Step 4: Recovery
Next, you’ll need to ensure you recover properly. If you’re passionate about exercising, regardless of your specific goals, you’ll be eager to resume your routine as soon as possible.
However, it’s probably better if you refrain from exercising, or lessen the intensity of your workout until you’re fully recovered.
Even if you feel good, further exercising in the form that led to your injury could easily make that injury worse, ultimately prolonging the length of your recovery.
Be sure to get medical attention for anything more serious than a dull ache or pain.
Step 5: Learning From The Incident
Not all gym injuries will be your fault. Some will be the result of a freak accident, and others may be someone else’s fault. Still, there’s always something to learn about the condition of your injury.
Did you properly inspect the equipment and your surroundings before working out? Did you properly warm up and stretch? Were you keeping an eye on the people around you? Did you try to overexert yourself?
Chances are, there’s at least one lesson to take away from the incident and one that can better protect you in the future.
Don’t let a single gym injury stop you from achieving your goals. Every athlete gets injured at one point or another; what really matters is how you respond to it.
Get the right medical attention, as soon as possible, and make sure you rest adequately before returning to your usual workout routine.